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2D vs 3D Animation: Which is harder?

𝟑𝐃 animation vs 𝟐𝐃 animation

2D and 3D have some significant differences that distinguish them from animation. One isn’t necessarily more complicated than the other, it all depends on what you’re looking for as an animator.

What is 𝟑𝐃 design?
Before you start working on any animation, it is essential to know exactly what 3D design is and how it differs from other forms of visual art. The most basic way to define 3D design is to take an image and add a third dimension to it, using technology to create an optical illusion that makes something look three-dimensional.

There are different types of 3D designs, each aimed at a specific industry or direction of innovation. These include architectural design, product design, industrial design and medical simulation. You might not realize it, but almost every movie you’ve seen uses some form of 3D design.
In fact, many animated films are made with computer generated images! To work in these fields as a designer or animator (or both), you must have some level of knowledge about how these designs work, and luckily for all of us, there are plenty of ways to learn more about them.

What makes 𝟑𝐃 animation more difficult?

In 3D animation, many of the technical factors to consider do not apply to 2D animation. First and foremost, when you create a scene, you need to create all of your characters separately from any background or environment. For example, for walking you need a file for each limb: arms, legs, torso, and head.

Additionally, these elements are combined into what are called rigs, which give the character various gestures and movements. From here, it’s all about creating your characters with intricate details that bring them to life, which is where technical know-how like rigging and animation come into play.

What is 𝟐𝐃 animation?

The skill of creating movement in two-dimensional space is known as 2D animation.

2D is a popular and influential media. Television programs, video games, feature films, advertisements, mobile applications and websites feature it. The famous example of 2D is for Tom and Jerry. Snapchat and other social media platforms produce 2D animated programs with short episodes of 1-3 minutes. Even 2D platform video games like CUPHEAD have seen a recent surge in popularity.

“Everything online (commercial, entertainment) uses animation, even if you don’t recognize it,” explains Scott Claus, CG Spectrum’s 2D animation mentor. “The medium is changing rapidly. Television animation has exploded in popularity, and streaming providers are always looking for new material.”

What makes 𝟐𝐃 more easier?

While 2D may seem remotely easy to create, animation, in general, is much more complex. Although you don’t have to worry about modeling and texturing a character, it takes incredible skill and time to create high-quality 2D animation.
However, some elements give 2D an edge over 3D. Many people don’t consider pre-production work when comparing these mediums. 2D animation can be created much faster than 3D; Once a storyboard is approved by all parties, animators can begin creating their scenes immediately.
The same cannot be said for 3D; The models must be created before the animator can start working on them. This process can take anywhere from weeks to months, depending on how detailed each model needs to be.

In the end, everyone comes to the goal. What you want to achieve reflects your decision to choose an animation medium. 2D or 3D.

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